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Procession of Girls with Fuji Foreheads (Fuji bitai hana no gyôretsu)

Utagawa Toyokuni I

Artwork Details

Procession of Girls with Fuji Foreheads (Fuji bitai hana no gyôretsu)
late 18th century - early 19th century
Utagawa Toyokuni I
woodblock print on paper, one of series of five
15 1/4 in. x 10 1/4 in. ( 38.7 cm x 26 cm )
Museum Purchase
1938.8

On Display

Not currently on display

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Description

Utagawa Toyokuni I
Japan, 1769–1825
Procession of Girls with Fuji Foreheads
Edo period (1615–1868)
Late 18th to early 19th century
Color woodblock print on paper
Museum Purchase, 1938.4–8
Mount Fuji was frequently shown in the mass-produced woodblock prints known
as ukiyo-e or “pictures of the floating world.” These prints depicted subjects such as
popular fashions or significant landmarks in the Japanese landscape. This set of five
prints combines these two themes by cleverly pairing a woman sporting a trendy
hairstyle known as the “Fuji forehead” (fuji bitai) with Mount Fuji. The hairstyle
emphasized the pale flatness of the forehead and was produced by pinning the hair
so that it showed off the widow’s peak, creating a shape reminiscent of the famous
mountain. While Mount Fuji was visible from the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo), the
women’s proximity to it suggests the artist deliberately flattened the space to create a
more direct parallel between their hair and the mountain.

Subject Matter:

Concluding the series. This print has the title. Curiously, although labeled from left to right with the number in the lower corner to signify the order of the prints, the writing moves right to left with the title on the last print. The artist made many works depicting Japanese aristocracy as this one does. 

Physical Description:

This is the fifth and final print in the series of five prints depicting the procession of girls. Depicted in this print are four women. There are three different types of clothing. The woman in front carries the leg of the lifted carriage and wears orange. The woman behind her wears black and carries the umbrella. The two women behind her are wearing similar green robes. The one in the very back carries what appears to be jars on her shoulder in two ornate boxes connected by a bar. The woman in front of her with the same robes carries a tall stick. There is a box inscription in the upper right that says the title of the work Fuji bitai hana no gyoretsu). There is another inscription in the lower left under the second women to the left. To the very right is another small inscription. There is a mountain range and clouds in the background. 

Usage Rights:

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